Social conditions and urban health inequities: realities, challenges and opportunities to transform the urban landscape through research and action

The process of urbanisation entails social improvements with the consequential better quality-of-life for urban residents. However, in many low-income and some middle-income countries, urbanisation conveys inequality and exclusion. This paper describes how, in cities of low- and middle-income countries, social exclusion contributes to urban health inequities via inequities in social infrastructure including health care, education, employment and social capital. The paper highlights policies and practices implemented in cities across the world that have sought to be socially inclusive and improved the social conditions for disadvantaged population groups. The authors conclude by emphasising on some of the gaps in the global evidence base and describe key areas for future action-oriented research in the field of social exclusion and urban health inequities.

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